The owner of the convenience store in South Carolina that sold the $1.5 billion winning lottery ticket said he wants to share part of his $50,000 bonus with his employees.
CJ Patel, who claims he has no clue who bought the winning ticket for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing, also said he planned on sharing the bonus with his staff team of four, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“I hope he will keep coming in,” Patel said of the lottery winner. “He’d be good for the business.”
He has owned the KC Mart in Simpsonville for over three years and said he noticed a steady growth in customers the past few days as the prize kept growing too. Until now, the biggest winning ticket Patel had sold was worth $250,000.
So far, no one has come forward. South Carolina Education Lottery Chief Operating Officer Tony Cooper says they know when and where the winning ticket was purchased, but cannot be sure of the exact identity of the winner until they contact them. Cooper added that the winner will have to pay the state of South Carolina around $80 million in taxes — the equivalent to one percent of the state’s annual budget.
After weeks of adding to the jackpot, Patel’s store finally sold a ticket that matched all six numbers for Tuesday’s blockbuster Mega Millions drawing, it was revealed on Wednesday. The KC Mart in Simpsonville is located in a fairly lonely junction 15 miles outside of Greenville, which is in the northwest side of the state. And after finding out Patel had sold the winning ticket, lottery representatives hung up a banner that read “Luck Struck Here!”
During press conference & media interviews today, CJ Patel, the owner of the convenience store in South Carolina that sold the winning $1.5 billion lottery ticket, had red tilak mark on his forehead, often placed during temple visits or after home prayers: https://t.co/Fx6W3NZ3Aw pic.twitter.com/SEewBwjq2K
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) October 25, 2018
Not only does he plan on splitting the bonus with his four employees, but Patel also said he hoped that selling the magic ticket would “bring us more business.” The state of South Carolina allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, and Patel himself said he could not offer any clues because the flood of customers he had experienced meant he couldn’t know for sure who the winner was.
“I have no clue. No idea. We had a lot of customers yesterday, so I have no idea,” he said when asked about the winner’s identity.
South Carolina is one of the only eight states where lottery winners are allowed to remain anonymous along with Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and Texas. Lottery officials put out a tweet on Wednesday that read, “Our message to the $1.5 BILLION #Mega Millions jackpot winner: Sign the back of the ticket, place the ticket in a safe location, speak with a trusted advisor and CALL THE LOTTERY at 1-866-736-9819. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!”
The winner now has a maximum of 180 days to claim the prize.